The biggest threat to the internet probably doesn’t come from public prosecutors and the anti-erotica crowd: the biggest threat comes from Linux and MP3. Why? Because these are stepping on the toes of some wealthy and very well entrenched economic special-interest groups, and wouldn’t be nearly so big a threat to them without the internet. Furthermore, it’s likely that other such innovations will follow. So I expect that said interest groups will soon jump in bed with the hand-wringers and moralizers to form a large, powerful coalition calling for extreme regulation of content.
If this happens, and if they get their way, the internet will end up becoming just another TV-style medium for force-feeding commercials to the masses; there won’t be any allowance for individuals who want to use it for creative/constructive purposes.
That’s my fear, but not it’s not a done deal yet. Educate your friends, relatives, and public officials.
A Slashdot user going by the alias of “Black Parrot”; written on April 23rd, 1999.
We should have listened to him…